Medicare open enrollment is coming soon. Watch your mailbox for notices arriving from Social Security, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and your prescription drug insurance companies. It is important to read these notices carefully and respond if they apply to you.
In September, you will receive correspondence from your drug plan insurance company letting you know of the changes coming for 2014. This is called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). Review this carefully to learn how your plan will change. If you don't want to study this document, call the senior center at 272-3620 for an appointment to review your coverage. These appointments will begin on Oct. 15.
Another document you might receive in September is the notice of whether your drug plan subsidy will automatically continue. Each year, a random sample of drug plan customers will need to reapply for their subsidy. If you receive this notice and neglect to complete it, you will lose your subsidy and will have to reapply later, risking a period of time without the subsidy.
Also in September, persons with drug plan subsidies will learn how much subsidy they will receive. Finally, the "Medicare and You" 2014 handbook will arrive.
In October, you will begin to receive marketing materials from various drug insurance companies, all hoping you will switch your coverage to their company. If your drug plan is going out of business, you must be notified by early October. If you automatically qualify for a drug plan subsidy but that subsidy is changing, you will be notified. If your drug plan has received many complaints and is not providing the coverage it should, you will be notified and encouraged to change plans. Finally, if you were automatically enrolled in a subsidized plan and that plan is changing, you must take action or you will again be automatically enrolled and you may not like the coverage.
In November, those higher-income customers who have premiums adjusted for their higher incomes will be notified of the new rates for 2014.
It is extremely important that you open and review all the mail you receive anytime from Social Security, Center for Medicare and Medicaid and your drug plans, but especially in the next couple of months. Your benefits could be affected.
Open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. This is generally the only time of the year when customers can change their plans. If you would like assistance reviewing your current coverage and how it will change in 2014, call the senior center at 272-3620 to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you.
Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Dress up this afternoon, wear your hat and gloves and come to a presentation of fashions through the years. Johnetta Holmes Hebrlee, Finney County Historical Museum educator, will show us fashions dating from the 1890s. Stay for tea and special refreshments. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.
Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.
Monday, the series "Lunch with the Doctor" will feature Dr. Tom Koksal as the guest. He will be speaking on managing your medications. Come at 11:30 a.m. to visit with Dr. Koksal and stay for lunch.
Tuesday has walking at 8:30 a.m. The computer class begins at 9 a.m. Gentle exercises are at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Tonight's speaker for the "Back to School for Seniors" series is Rick Schaffer, SWKAAA. Schaffer is a trained Medicare counselor and will be here tonight and next Tuesday speaking on the various components of Medicare. Join us at 5:30 p.m. to learn more.
Sept. 18 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring Bob Walter begins at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for tonight's dance. Come join the fun.
Lunch is served at noon.
Thursday: Swiss steak in tomato sauce, baked potato, mixed vegetables, strawberries, wheat bread.
Friday: Spaghetti and meat sauce, green beans, tossed salad, mixed fruit, French bread.
Monday (lunch with Dr. Koksal): Chicken enchilada, Corn O'brien, spinach salad, ice cream.
Tuesday: Roast beef, potatoes and gravy, steamed cabbage, muffin, spiced peach gelatin salad.
Sept. 18: Porcupine meatballs, Romanoff potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower salad, cinnamon roll, ambrosia.
Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.